Harley True Burton’s History of the JA Ranch (1927)

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In 1927, Harley True Burton submitted his classic JA Ranch History for his MA Degree. wordlcat

It shall be my purpose to give as complete a history as is possible with the information I have in hand of the first cattle ranch established in the Panhandle of Texas.

This was, and is today, known as the J A Ranch. It was established by Colonel Charles Goodnight in 1876 on the Palo Duro Canyon (now spelled Paloduro, since the establishment of a post office at Paloduro, Texas). This ranch was located in what is now Armstrong, Briscoe, Donley, Hall, Randall and Swisher Counties. The main ranch was divided into two ranches, the J A Ranch and the J J Ranch, when the ranch was first established. A little later, 1884, the holdings got so large that still another ranch was located, known as the Tule Ranch. In 1882 the Quitaque Ranch, better known as the F Ranch, was established and managed by Colonel Goodnight for Mrs. Adair. It was located in Briscoe, Floyd, and Motley Counties. The land holdings were gradually increased by purchase and lease until at one time the land actually grazed by the combined interests reached a total of more than a million acres. The herd was increased until at one time there were about nine thousand head of high-grade Hereford cattle and over 60,700 in the main herd with a calf branding of sixteen thousand head, not including the F Ranch cattle. Today the J A Ranch includes part of the original holdings of the J A and J J Ranches only, and there are only 397,800 acres of land and about 25,000 head of cattle.

(Excerpt from: Southwestern Historical Quarterly Online)